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Retire in Buckeye, Arizona?
Overview: Buckeye is 35 miles from downtown Phoenix and is the western most city in the Phoenix metro area. Its agricultural heritage is visible in the surrounding acres of cotton and alfalfa, creating an unexpectedly green landscpape around the town. The Estrella Mountains loom in the distance.
Buckeye was just a sleepy little desert hamlet with a few farmers until developers arrived about 20 years ago. Since then, the town has grown by a whopping 1,000%. Yet local leaders think it will take another 30 years before Buckeye is completely built out. Master planned communities are the norm, with 30 or more, including Sundance, Festival Ranch and Verrado, in some stage of development. Attractive, sleek and mostly large, many of these developments have Spanish Colonial or Mediterranean themes and palm trees. Buckeye Hills Regional Park sports primitive biking paths, hiking trails, camping areas and views of the Gila River riparian area.
Downtown is somewhat nondescript but sponsors an air fair, a community yard sale, Pioneer Days, Demolition Days and Hellzapoppin' Days, which includes a rodeo. Restaurants are nearly all national chains. Sundance Towne Center has some major and minor national retailers. Three golf courses have a Buckeye address. The town still has some rough edges, with low slung commercial buildings, roadside telephone poles, billboards, sagebrush and scorpions.
Population: 63,000 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 28%
Cost of Living: 12% above the national average
Median Home Price: $220,000
Climate: This area has very hot summers and mild winters. Summer temperatures are in the 90s and low-100s. Winter temperatures are in the 60s and 70s. On average, Buckeye receives about 10 inches of rain per year
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but West Valley Hospital in Goodyear, 15 miles away, accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but West Valley Hospital in Goodyear, 15 miles away, is accredited.
Public Transit: Buckeye is served by the Valley Metro bus system.
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Conservative
Is Arizona Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Notes: Buckeye has a successful water conservation program, which consists of outdoor water restrictions and rebate programs, has successfully reduced water consumption during the last decade. The city is racially diverse.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
Scholars debate over the name's origin. Arizona could either be Basque for "place of oaks" or Tohono O'odham for "place of the young spring." Whatever its true meaning is, Arizona and its cities have been growing rapidly since the 1950s.
And why not? It's not just the days and days of sunshine. The state contains some of the country's greatest natural treasures. There are 210 named ranges including the Sky Island Mountains and the Superstition Mountains. Don't forget the 277-mile long Grand Canyon. Arizona residents are never far from a hiking, biking, camping, paragliding, white river rafting, fishing, horse back riding, snow skiing adventure.
The cities, too, are packed with things to do. Phoenix has one of the area's best Dia de los Muertos celebrations. Tucson's Folk Festival attracts thousands to its showcase of bluegrass and country artists. It's film festival, over 25 years old, has screened more than 2,600 films from 90 plus countries. Scottsdale has a handful of food festivals and launches balloons from the Salt River Fields. Prescott hosts "the world's oldest" rodeo. Held every July 4th weekend, the event has everything from bull riding to wild horse racing.
ASU, a public research university, has five Phoenix campuses and four regional learning centers. The university's Sun Devils field 24 varsity teams. ASU's collaboration with the Mayo Clinic is bringing cutting edge-medicine and medical care to the Southwest. Its Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts offers a full season of exhibitions, theater, film, and dance.
Population - 6,931,030
Persons 65 years old and over - 17%
High school graduates, persons age 25+ - 86%
Bachelor's degree or higher, persons age 25+ - 27%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 31%
White persons, not Hispanic - 58%
Median household income - $50,225
Median home value - $167,500
Social Security taxed? No
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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